Partly Cloudy 70°
    February 3, 2010
    Tough weekend on tap for Hokies
    Tech to face two top-15 programs on the road

    BLACKSBURG - The No. 15 Virginia Tech wrestling team (14-4, 2-0 ACC) will have its hands full this weekend as it faces a pair of nationally ranked teams on the road in hostile territories. On Friday, the Hokies will take on No. 8 Lehigh (11-3-1) in Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall and then will face No. 11 Maryland (16-4, 3-0 ACC) Saturday night in College Park in the Comcast Pavilion.

    Tech has already wrestled six top 20 teams this year, posting a 3-3 mark in those bouts. The Hokies are led by six wrestlers who are now ranked in various national polls. Jesse Dong is ranked as high as third in the country at 157 pounds while Chris Diaz is ranked as high as fifth at 141 pounds. Jarrod Garnett is ranked in the top 15 at 125 pounds and Tommy Spellman is ranked 19th at 184 pounds. New in the rankings this week are junior Matt Epperly, who is ranked as high as 19th at 165 pounds, and freshman Brian Stephens, who checks in at 20th in the new AWN poll.

    On Saturday, the Hokies and Terps will battle for the ACC dual meet championship as they are the only two teams left unbeaten in league play. Tech has won eight-straight ACC dual meets, last losing at NC State in 2008.

    Below are the probables for both matches, as submitted by the respective coaching staffs. All rankings used are from InterMat’s latest rankings, which came out Tuesday.

    #15 Virginia Tech (14-4, 2-0 ACC)
    125: #14 Jarrod Garnett (19-5)
    133: Brock LiVorio (7-3)
    141: #10 Chris Diaz (24-3)
    149: Brian Stephens (7-3)
    157: #5 Jesse Dong (23-2)
    165: #20 Matt Epperly (16-6)
    174: Taylor Knapp (10-11)
    184: #19 Tommy Spellman (21-8)
    197: Chris Penny (1-12)
    285: Tim Miller (3-14)

    #8 Lehigh (11-3-1)
    125: John McDonald (8-10)
    133: #13 Matt Fisk (13-5)
    141: #17 Seth Ciasulli (14-9)
    149: Joey Napoli (17-9)
    157: Sean Bilodeau (13-7)
    165: Brandon Hatchett (6-7)
    174: #17 Robert Hamlin (12-7) OR Alex Caruso (14-4)
    184: #15 David Craig (15-3)
    197: #19 Joe Kennedy (11-10)
    285: #5 Zach Rey (21-3)

    #11 Maryland (16-3, 3-0 ACC)
    125: James Knox (18-9) OR Pat Strizki (11-7)
    133: #12 Steven Bell (20-5)
    141: #9 Alex Krom (14-5) OR Matt Bogusz (18-8)
    149: Jon Kohler (13-15)
    157: Kyle John (26-8)
    165: #14 Josh Asper (27-6)
    174: #5 Mike Letts (19-4) OR Owen Smith (10-13)
    184: Corey Peltier (18-11)
    197: #3 Hudson Taylor (33-2)
    285: Patrick Gilmore (20-9)

    Additionally, several Hokies will be competing unattached at the Spartanburg Methodist College Open Saturday in South Carolina. They are: Schuyler Swanton (125), Jared Jones (133), Cole Louks (141), Cameron Hurd (141), Nick Murray (149), Matt Rosen (149) and John Dickson (174).

    For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).

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